The Sixth Annual Criterion Month Draft

With July less than two weeks away, it’s about time we draft our picks for Criterion Month once again. This is the annual podcast where the three of us take turns picking what movies from the Criterion Collection we’d like to review on this blog over the course of next month. Most years there aren’t a ton of stolen picks, and sorry to disappoint you, that is once again the case this year. That said, we all had a lot of fun talking about revered movies we haven’t seen yet but are excited to talk about in 30(ish) days of somewhat rushed reviews that are published just in time before the stroke of midnight. Continue reading

Colin’s Favorite Albums of May 2022

This month saw quite a few familiar faces returning with both highly anticipated and mildly anticipated albums alike. Some of the ones that fell more into the latter category I just haven’t had much time to dig into despite being Colin favorites, since they came out toward the end of the month (like Wilco’s Cruel Country or Craig Finn’s A Legacy of Rentals). Also, as much as I always look forward to a new Sharon Van Etten album, for whatever reason, her new We’ve Been Going About This All Wrong hasn’t quite been hitting with me. Maybe this is because much like I found with 2014’s excellent Are We There, her music is just a little hard to embrace during the sunnier parts of the year, even if this summer has already manifested just how much we’ve been going about this all wrong. Continue reading

Colin’s Favorite Albums of April 2022

April wasn’t quite as hot of a month music-wise as the other two I’ve covered so far this year. Which is perfectly ok since March 25 saw the release of so many noteworthy albums that I’ll have plenty to talk about here. In addtion Destroyer’s last album (which I covered last month), the first three albums I’ll be covering actually came out on that release date and served as some of my most-listened-to albums throughout April. Continue reading

Colin’s Favorite Albums of March 2022

This month was another strong one as far as albums go, so I guess I’ll once again talk about some of my favorites. I’ll also give a shout-out to albums that I liked, but I just didn’t get around to listening to enough to make sense of how much I liked them. Those include: Wild Loneliness by Superchunk, Squeeze by SASAMI, and Running with the Hurricane by Camp Cope. Meanwhile, How Is It That I Should Look At The Stars by The Weather Station is a nice little companion piece to last year’s fantastic Ignorance, but feels a little too low-stakes for it to really stand out on its own. Continue reading

Oscars Fortnight: West Side Story (2021)

West Side Story (2021)

94th Academy Awards (2022)
Nominations:
7
Wins: We’ll see…

It’s strange to remember that when this week began, just a few days ago, I had never seen West Side Story. I knew some of the songs, like “I Feel Pretty,” “Maria,” and “America,” but I’m not sure if I knew they were all in the same musical. I knew that it was inspired by Romeo and Juliet (“inspired” is an understatement) with the Montagues and Capulets replaced by dancey finger-snappin’ hoodlums called the Jets and the Sharks. And I knew from a 2007 episode of Curb Your Enthusiasm that there was a character named Officer Krupke that inspires the phrase “Krup you!” I really think that’s it. That’s all I knew. Until my life changed forever on Monday when I finally watched the 1961 film adaptation and have had this extremely theatrical version of Manhattan playing on repeat in my head ever since.

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Oscars Fortnight Day 9: Mystic River

Mystic River (2003)

The 76th Academy Awards (2004)
Nominations:
6
Wins: 2

It’s funny seeing what films at what times resonate with the Academy. Apart from the prestige of Mystic River being a Clint Eastwood film, I’m not sure what else it brings to the table. It has big performances that border on laughable. The story makes no sense. The mystery is shaky at best. Yet, it is n engaging thriller at times. Like an airport novel. Which makes sense considering it was adapted from what was essentially an airport novel. Some people just like a good time. Also, didn’t it seem like there was unusual interest in Boston in the mid-2000s? The Departed, anyone? Is it just me? Well, let’s get into it ya wicked pissas.

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Oscars Fortnight Day 8: The Insider

The Insider (1999)

The 72nd Academy Awards (2000)
Nominations:
7
Wins: 0

It’s weird to think there was a time when cigarettes were deemed equally dangerous as fast food. Joe Camel was in ads all the way up to 1997. People knew cigarettes were addictive but not how addictive. The story behind The Insider is an important building block in the campaign for the truth behind cigarettes. This is the story of Dr. Jeffery Wigand (Russell Crowe) who in real life was a whistleblower after revealing that his company, Brown and Williamson Tobacco Company, was tampering with cigarettes to make them more addictive. It’s also the story of Al Pacino with big hair yelling a lot.

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